UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award 2012


Research Interests


Reviews of Everyday Practice

Recent Publications

Other Selected Publications

Blog Posts




Everyday Practice of Science was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books.
The judges said: “How is science done? This book looks behind the scenes and tells the story of what makes scientific minds tick and how scientific theories are made. A fascinating, personal account – essential reading for anyone with an interest in science, from pupil to politician.”

Philosophy of Science and Bioethics

My research program consists of cross-disciplinary studies at the boundary between science and philosophy, attempting to articulate what doing science entails with the goal of informing science policy decisions and advancing science education and public understanding of science. The philosophical approach that I use involves exploring the assumptions and challenges implicit in practice.

Oxford University Press recently (2009) published my new book Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion meet Objectivity and Logic. Everyday Practice begins with the premise that although scientific facts can be so complicated that only specialists in a field will fully appreciate the details, the nature of everyday practice that gives rise to these facts should be understandable by everyone interested in science. My book describes how scientists bring their own interests and passions to their work, illustrates the dynamics between researchers and the research community, and emphasizes a contextual understanding of science in place of the linear model found in textbooks with its singular focus on "scientific method." Everyday Practice of Science also introduces readers to issues about science and society. Practice requires value judgments: What should be done? Who should do it? Who should pay for it? How much? Balancing scientific opportunities with societal needs depends on appreciating both the promises and the ambiguities of science. Understanding practice informs discussions about how to manage research integrity, conflict of interest, and the challenge of modern genetics to human research ethics. Society cannot have the benefits of research without the risks. Finally, the last chapter contrasts the practices of science and religion as reflective of two different types of faith and describes a holistic framework within which they dynamically interact.


Grinnell, F (1987) The Scientific Attitude, Westview Press, Boulder, CO.

Grinnell, F (1992) The Scientific Attitude, 2nd Edition, Guilford Press, New York, NY.

Grinnell, F. (2009) Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion meet Objectivity and Logic, Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

Everyday Practice of Science -- Reviews and Podcasts

Review by Janet D. Stemedel at Science Blogs

Review by Alice Kim at Science and Consciousness Blog

Review by Midwest Book Review at Amazon.Com

Review by John Kwok at Amazon.Com

Lab Bench Ethics (podcast): Science Progress hosts interview between Jonathan Moreno and Fred Grinnell

Review by Michael R. Dietrich in The Quarterly Review of Biology

Review by D. P. Dash in Journal of Research Practice

Review by Chris Lee at ArsTechnica Blog

Review by Dan Agin at The Huffington Post

Review by A. J. Cornish Bowden at Amazon.Com

Review by Timothy Haugh at Amazon.Com

Review (in Italian) by Domenico Lombardini at Amazon.Com

Review (in French) by Marie-Jo Thiel at Le Centre européen d'enseignement et de recherche en éthique (CEERE)

Review by Russell Blackford at Metamagician and the Hellfire Club Blog

Review by Brian Clegg at Popular Science

Review by Ruth Francis at Nature.com

Review by Sheril Kirshenbaum at The Intersection Blog

Review by Tim Radford at The Guardian

Review by Kerry Taylor Smith at Laboratory News

Review by Juljan Krause at Science as Culture

Review by José Vázquez at CBE Life Sciences Education

Review by Paul Wolstenholme-Hogg at RCS Chemistry World

Review by Cory Lewis at Spontaneous Generations

Recent Publications

Grinnell, F. (2009) Intelligible Design or Intelligent Design? It’s a Matter of Faith. Chronicle of Higher Education. 55(18): B5

Grinnell, F. (2009) Discovery in the Lab: Plato’s paradox and Max Delbrück’s principle of limited sloppiness. FASEB J. 20: 410-1.

Grinnell, F. (2011) The Evolution of Credibility The-Scientist. 25:76.

Grinnell, F. (2013) Research Integrity and Everyday Practice of Science. Science and Engineering Ethics. 9: 685-701.

Grinnell, F. (2013) It is time to update US biomedical funding. Nature. 501:137.

Other Selected Publications

Grinnell, F. (1983) Studies on intersubjectivity: A comparison of Martin Buber and Alfred Schutz. Human Studies 6: 185-195.

Grinnell, F. (1986) Complementarity: An approach to understanding the relationship between science and religion. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 29: 292-301.

Grinnell, F. (1990) The endings of clinical research protocols: Understanding the difference between therapy and research. IRB. 12: 1-4

Grinnell, F. (1994) Radical intersubjectivity: Why naturalism is an assumption necessary for doing science. In Darwinism: Science or Philosophy? ed. J. Buelland V. Hearn, Foundation for Thought and Ethics, Richardson, pp 99-106

Grinnell, F, Bishop, JP, and McCullough, LB. (2002) Bioethical pluralism and complementarity. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 45(3):338-49

Grinnell, F. (2004) Subject Vulnerability: The Precautionary Principle Of Human Research. American Journal of Bioethics. 4:72-74.

Grinnell, F. (2004) Human embryo research: From moral uncertainty to death. American Journal of Bioethics. 4:12-3.

Grinnell, F. (2005) Misconduct: acceptable practices differ by field. Nature. 436: 776.

Grinnell, F. (2006) Intelligent design: fallacy recapitulates ontogeny. FASEB J. 20: 410-1.25.


Blog Posts

Oxford University Press Blog (2009): Science and Conflict of Interest

Oxford University Press Blog (2009): How to Support Graduate Education in the Sciences

Oxford University Press Blog (2009): Redefining Death -- Again

Oxford University Press Blog (2010): End of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research?

ord University Press Contract